Archive for the ‘Wrestling’ Category

Ticket Rush for UFC 193

Ronda Rousey Image: https://www.facebook.com/ronda.cips/photos/pcb.10153689082834382/10153689076994382/?type=1&theater

Ticket sales for UFC 193 in Melbourne look set to break all stadium records.

At 10 am on Monday morning the vendors’ servers were smoking as fans rushed to book their seats for what will arguably be the greatest sporting event the southern hemisphere has ever seen.

Seat prices ranged between $100.60 and $468, with the later being sold out in minutes.

Corporate boxes and ringside VIP seats were selling for $18,000 and are all but gone.

Etihad stadium said that the seating capacity will be increased by around 15,000 to 70,800 for the event.

Should they sell out it will set a new world record for an Ultimate Fighting Championship event, beating that of Toronto four years ago with 55,724.

Ronda Rousey Image: https://www.facebook.com/ronda.cips/photos/pcb.10153689082834382/10153689076994382/?type=1&theater

Ronda Rousey Image: https://www.facebook.com/ronda.cips/photos/pcb.10153689082834382/10153689076994382/?type=1&theater

Headliner Ronda Rousey is wooing the city of Melbourne. She has been the darling of the media and fans alike. Her accessibility to media and fans has – and will continue – to only heighten interest that is already at fever pitch.

Rousey’s opponent, Holly Holm, is new to MMA but is a decorated boxer. Should she be able to elude Rousey’s takedowns and grappling she will present the incumbent bantamweight champion with some stiff competition and damaging punches.

Englishman Michael Bisping and his opponent Aussie Robert Whittaker have almost passed unnoticed. But make no mistake this will be an intriguing, brutal, and high-level battle between a veteran and an up-and-comer.

UFC 193 is going to be AWESOME!

MMA Fighters Boycott Nevada in Response to Diaz Sentence

Image: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nick_Diaz

The fallout from the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s handling of the Nick Diaz drug charge continues to worsen.

The Commission handed out a five-year suspension to Diaz (effectively ending his career) for testing positive to cannabis after his UFC 183 bout.

Fans and fighters were outraged at the excessive nature of the ban. And MMA fighters are making their displeasure known by refusing to fight in the state of Nevada.

The latest to add his name to the blockade is Henry Cejudo, an Olympic gold medallist.

Fast rising bantamweight Aljamain sterling tweeted that he is intent on doing the same, “ … let the NSAC know,” he broadcast on the 17th, “they need to be unbiased & give a fair process.”

They join female bantamweight Leslie Smith in expressing their dismay at the Star Chamber-like actions of the NSAC.

“This situation is just the latest example demonstrating the need for mixed martial artists to stand together,” said Smith. “(We need) to influence our sport and have our voices heard by speaking together as the mixed martial arts fighter association.”

These fighters are fervently hoping others will make a similar stand. Alone they will accomplish little; but should the stars decide to follow their lead the NSAC may actually be answerable to someone.

Heavyweight Matt Mitrione blasted ex-UFC fighter now executive Matt Hughes for his comments supporting the NSAC. UFC superstar Ronda Rousey has labelled the ban ‘unfair’. For Diaz to receive a penalty five times greater than that given to Anderson Silva. Silva tested positive for steroids in the fight against Diaz.

‘It makes no sense at all.’

She describes herself as a close friend to Diaz and is shocked at the suspension.

UFC Stars Front Media in Melbourne

Rousey image: https://twitter.com/RondaRousey?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

UFC boss Dana White has fronted the media ahead of UFC 193 in Melbourne. Sitting beside him was MMA superstar Ronda ‘Rowdy’ Rousey, challenger Holly Holm, Strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzehczyk, and her challenger the ever hopeful Valerie Letourmeau.

The air was literally electric with anticipation.

It’s been a running joke that White was initially reluctant to have a women’s UFC division. But since changing his mind, Ronda Rousey has become the franchise’s greatest drawcard and asset.

White chuckles about being reminded of his opposition.

“She’s broken through – it’s amazing,” he said to new.com.au. “She’s the biggest star we’ve ever had.”

And White has had some stars. Chuck Liddell crossed over from Strikeforce, Georges St Pierre and Anderson Silva were megastars. But no one – and White confirms this – no one has ever been as big as Rousey.

“Normally it’s a f*@king nightmare to manage somebody like her. But the thing with Ronda Rousey is the more rich and famous she gets, the easier she is to deal with. It’s not supposed to be like that. It’s always the complete opposite. Any of these guys, if they get this much fame, this much money, they lose their mind. Ronda is the exact opposite.”

And it’s not just White who benefits.

Rousey was clearly jetlagged when approached by reporters. And while everyone would be wise to be cautious around the most dangerous female athlete on the planet they found her approachable and friendly.

After a recent appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres show the popular talk show host felt she’d got the best from the UFC stable.

“She’s got unbelievable charisma,” White continued describing Rousey. “She’s intelligent. She’s literally the whole package.”

And Ellen DeGeneres agrees.

But Rousey adapts to her situation.

“She’ll fight anyone, anywhere, anytime,” said White about the fighter Rousey. “She’s mean. She’s nasty. She doesn’t just want to beat you, she wants to destroy you. She comes out of that tunnel with bad intentions.”

All of her previous opponents agree.

The Mountain Beaten in Arm-Wrestling

The Mountain image: commercialgymtrainer.blogspot.com

Hafthor Bjornsson, runner-up in the World’s Strongest Man competition, winner of a slew of strongman competitions, and player of Game of Thrones character The Mountain Ser Gregor Clegane has been beaten in an arm wrestling match.

The 25 year-old Icelandic giant (2.06m and 180kg) was challenged and soundly defeated by by Devon Larratt – a man just over half his size (102kg).

To be fair, the Canadian, Larratt, is an arm wrestling legend. He won the left hand championship of the World Arm-Wrestling League in 2014.

But no one was prepared for the  apparent ease he had in dominating Bjornsson.

Bjornsson wasn’t playing around. He threw all his considerable bodyweight into defeating Larratt, who virtually toyed with the big man before pinning him.

In their second match Larratt even had the cheek to give Bjornsson advice, before again winning the contest!

Twonsville Holds No Fear For Sharks

http://www.nrl.com/nrl-finals-week-two-information/tabid/10874/newsid/89777/default.aspx

North Queensland Cowboy’s coach Paul Green believes the Cronulla Sharks are semi-finals favourites.

His comments come as the two teams prepare for their weekend do-or-die clash in the first round of the finals.

The match will be played in front of a sold out Townsville crowd, with both teams needing to win.

Green admitted the Sharks were the only team to have beaten his side in both games they played against each other this year. They beat the Cowboys 24-18 in June (in Townsville) and in round 22 won again 30-18 at Shark Park.

“They probably deserve to be favourites for this game,” said Green.

“They’ve beaten us twice throughout the year, they have knocked off the Roosters and done well against (the) top four teams.

“They play a tough brand of footy.”

Most recently they demolished the sliding defending premiers, the Roosters; while the Cowboys were beaten by the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium 16-12.

Arguably the most divisive man in the NRL, Paul Gallen said to Sky Sports Radio that playing in front of a sold out Townsville crowd held no fear for his side.

“A few of us were having coffee and speaking about this last week – both places hold no fear for us, whether we had to play in Townsville or Brisbane.

“We were saying how exciting it would be to play in Brisbane in front of 50,000 people.

“And in Townsville it would be more than 20,000 and we’ve had success there; so no, it’s not daunting.”

Nick Diaz Suspended for Five Years for Pot?!

Image: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UFC_183

The MMA world has gone into overdrive, outraged at the five-year ban to UFC welterweight Nick Diaz for allegedly testing positive to marijuana.

Diaz was also fined a ridiculous 33 per cent of his prize purse – $165,000.

If these penalties seem inordinately heavy when compared with the crime, it’s because they are.

The man Diaz fought before the controversy (Anderson Silva at UFC 183) returned a test positive for steroids. He received only a one-year ban.

Lucas Middlebrook, Diaz’ attorney, presented an aggressive defense to the Nevada State Athletic Commission on Monday. In an at times fiery session he questioned the very validity of the test results.

Middlebrook argued that separate tests by the Sports Medicine Research & Testing Laboratory (SMRTL) and the World Anti-Doping Agency both showed Diaz had marijuana well below the 150ng/ ML limit.

The only positive test above the limit was returned from Quest Diagnostics, showing 700ng/ML for marijuana.

Middlebrook then called upon an expert witness to discredit the lone positive result.

Image: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nick_Diaz

Image: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nick_Diaz

“With all due respect,” said Middlebrook, “if the commission imposes discipline based on the complaint as written, which wholly igmores the two negative tests, thereby depriving this man of his earnings and his future ability to earn a living, it’s not only the highest form of administrative abuse of discretion, but it’s ripe for judicial review and reversal.”

 But the commission had the scent of blood in their nostrils and argued that Diaz had not claimed the use of marijuana on the pre-fight questionnaire – a document all athletes are required to sign.

Diaz showed his contempt for the proceedings by choosing to plead his Fifth Amendment right to refuse to answer the questions put to him.

MMA fans around the world were stunned.

Marijuana isn’t a performance enhancing drug (the way steroids are). Diaz certainly broke the rules, but banning him for five years effectively ends his career; and to recieve a penalty five times worse than someone using PEDs is absurd.

But what has outraged sportsfans most is the declaration made by Chairman Francisco Aguilar that the sentence is also for things other than the marijuana. “This is  not just a casee of marijuana,” he said. “I think this is a case of complete lack of disregard for the sport.”

But Diaz wasn’t on trial for his attitude.

And while he was also suspended in 2007 and 2012 for marijuana use it seems to be drawing an awfully long bow to say this equates to a ‘disregard for the sport’.

Twitter Dare Backfires for Patriots Fan

Images: https://twitter.com/TheOfficialTATE

Mike Tetreault made the mistake of daring the social media world.

He was in the stands at a New England Patriots game when he dared to take the field if he received 10,000 re-tweets.

Unfortunately for him the NFL was keeping a watchful eye over all the social media channels.

They sent security to escort him from the game.

But Mr Tetreault wasn’t done.

Images: https://twitter.com/TheOfficialTATE

Images: https://twitter.com/TheOfficialTATE

He declared the security officers attempted to intimidate him by saying, “We know everything about you. We know your whole life.”

Mr Tetreault claimed it was nothing more than a joke, and that he had no intention of taking the field. But his proximity to the astroturf and ease of access was enough to make the ground officials nervous.

Mr Tetreault was outraged and demanded an apology from the NFL.

He released a statement, again via Twitter.

Fans Ignore Mayweather’s Last Fight

Mayweather image: en.wikipedia.org

Boxing fans gave Floyd Mayweather the send-off he deserves, ignoring his last fight against chump Andre Berto.

With the fight taking place today there were still hundreds tickets still available.

Mayweather hit the media in an eleventh-hour attempt to drum up interest. He declared the challenger a genuine threat, though those with even a passing knowledge of boxing will tell you Berto is a massive underdog.

Berto’s trainer, Virgil Hunter, also stepped in to beat the drum, hinting at ‘personal issues’ between the two fighters.

Both are well-worn avenues for attracting interest. But it appears to be too little too late.

Mayweather’s camp believed the simple fact of this being the champion’s last fight would be enough to fill the stadium. Upon this assumption they didn’t think it mattered who walked out from the opposite corner. Why then, would Mayweather choose an opponent that could actually challenge him?

It appears the boxing public are a little more discerning: Boxing fans go to watch boxing. Mayweather fans go to watch Mayweather. It appears there are more of the former than the latter.

 

Mayweather won against Berto without much trouble. This win puts him equal with heavyweight legend Rocky Marciano at 49-0.

Ticketmaster were offering hundreds of empty seats in prices between $150 and $1,500.

Blachowicz Beaten Up in UFC 191

Image: https://twitter.com/JanBlachowicz/status/640641449512538112/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

Corey Anderson won a lop-sided heavyweight match up against Jan Blachowicz in UFC 191 on the weekend. It seems the loss has damaged more than just Blachowicz’s face and body.

Blachowicz posted a picture of his battered face after the fight.

He wrote, “I have to take a break for the next few months. I have to think, put everything together, do some analysis, and primarily to restore my passion and spark that I lost. In a few hours I’ll come back to you guys and I’ll say more.”

And Blachowicz has good reason for the rethink.

Judges scored the bout 30-25, 30-25, 29-26 to Anderson.

Anderson overwhelmed Blachowicz with his wrestling and improved Brazilian jiu-jitsu. H didn’t have it all his own way, saying after the bout, “I got my teeth knocked in again, but came out with avictolry; that’s priceless.

Blachowicz managed to land a few shots in the first round. Anderson adjusted by switching to a grappling-focused fight. Blachowicz was unable to match him in this area and Anderson controlled the rest of the fight.

Anderson took balchowicz to the canvas in the first, but nearly got trapped with an armbar.

In the second he caught a kick from Blachowicz, took his opponent to the mat, and mounted him for top-position.

Anderson then laid on the ground-and-pound with a torrent of damaging g punches and elbows.

In the end it was his superior conditioning that allowed Anderson to keep pouring on the pressure

“I’ve got cardio and pressure forever,” he said. “I don’t get tired.

Anderson now moves to a record of 6-1; while Blachowicz drops to 18-5.

NRL Furious at Captains’ Snub

NRL Captains Calll imgaes: https://twitter.com/nrl

NRL officials were fuming when three first-grade captains snubbed the annual finals captains’ call.

Melbourne storm captain Cameron Smith missed the engagement for the second year in a row claiming he has a virus. Instead the club sent Ryan Hinchcliffe, who confirmed the news.

“He’s got a little bit of a virus. He didn’t come to training yesterday and today. He is still crook.” But Hinchcliffe assured Storm fans that the captain will be okay when the finals series kicks off.

Other no-shows were Cowboys captain Jonathon Thurston who sited a slight groin injury for his absence.

The club’s co-captain Matt Scott also begged-off with a neck injury.

Veteran backrower Gavin Cooper was sent to replace them both. He said the long flight for the short event was too much of a disruption to both men’s rehab’ and medicos preferred their star playmakers to rest and heal.

Cooper assured Cowboy fans Thurston and Scott should be right to play in time for the finals.

An NRL spokesman said it was ‘disappointing’ that not all captains were able to attend.

NRL Captains Calll imgaes: https://twitter.com/nrl

NRL Captains Calll imgaes: https://twitter.com/nrl

“But we understand that players cannot travel due to illness and injury.

“The clubs involved sent replacement players to ensure they were properly represented at the event.”

Whether the absences are legitimate or calculated snubs the NRL is fast losing credibility among its players, power-brokers, and fans – and this years’ captains call only reinforces that.